Ayurveda: Practices to Feel Like Yourself Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 3

Udana Vayu

40 min - Practice
65 likes
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Description

Inspired by Udana Vayu, Ali guides us in a rhythmic and strong vinyasa flow designed to promote clear communication and spaciousness in the throat. You will feel a fresh sense of energy and openness.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block

Transcript

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Namaste. This will be the Udana Vayu practice. And Udana Vayu is the energy that lives in the throat and it governs speech, it helps us to get our truth out, to have clear communication and it's also, you know, I find that this one is also very good because so much of our lives these days we're looking down and that really closes this area off. So to have a practice that lifts the head, that opens the neck and opens the throat so we can have clear communication is always helpful. We're going to start off in Vajrasana so you can come to sit on your heels. I'm sitting on a block, you can feel free to grab a block and sit up as high as you need to and then I'm taking the hands into my favorite version of Venus Mudra. So you'll interlace the fingers and just extend the index fingers up, place that right in front of your throat. We will start with a practice called Brahmari breaths and Brahmari means bumblebee. So with this breath you're going to breathe in through your nose and then you're going to breathe out with a very gentle hum in your throat and this is very soothing for the nervous system and also very good for stimulating the thyroid. So if you've got any hypothyroid issues going on this is a beautiful practice and just very very soothing. So you'll breathe in through your nose and then when you breathe out the hum is very soft like this. Let's do it together three times, breathing in. So and then just take one more minute there with this Venus Mudra indicating the wave that the energy is traveling right in front of the throat to come out clearly through your breath, through your speech and to help stimulate Vishuddhi chakra and Vishuddhi is the fifth chakra and it means pure. So may our physical practice have an energetic effect to keep us speaking in truth and impurity. Take one more deep breath in here and then open your mouth and softly just sigh it out. Good and then you're going to come forward onto your hands and knees and once you're on your hands and knees you can take the wrists right underneath the shoulders, the knees right underneath the hips. Think of a long spine extending the neck forward.

Step your left foot back and tuck your left toes under and reach through your left heel and then spin your left heel down and lift your left arm up. You're coming into a side plank variation here and you can turn the head to gaze past the hand if that's comfortable for your neck and then go ahead reach the left arm really far over the ear and open up the ribs and I'm doing a little bit of a press off the fingers here to pop the hips up and feel the opening in the side waist. From there come back into your plank pose right knee in towards your nose. Step back into plank. Bring the left knee into your nose. Down dog split, left leg up. Step right in between your hands come into your lunge and then let your back knee bend a little bit bring the arms up coming into a high lunge but I like a little bit of a bend in the back knee here and that gives the tailbone some opportunity to drop and I feel like the spine is a little bit more in alignment. From here straighten out the front leg arms are up venous mudra and then bend the left knee and again like that pressing into the feet straightening out the left leg and then let it bend. One last time like that inhale lengthen the left leg and exhale let it bend and then bring your hands down to the ground step back into plank pose. From here we're lowering knees chest and chin ashtanga namaskar and most of the weight here is on my hands. Slide through right into a little bit of a cobra and then just to work the muscles of the upper back you can slip the arms back bringing the hands back underneath the shoulders press back puppy pose and we're going to start this first one off very gentle come up onto the fingertips tip the hips up gaze out in between the hands press the tops of the feet down and let the shoulders open and the throat and then come back onto hands and knees step the right foot back tuck the right toes under and then spin the right heel down and lift up the right arm coming into your side plank variation take the right arm over your ear reach through it and send the right ribs up and there's all that space for the right lung lots of breath here bringing the right hand down plank left knee into your nose step back plank right knee into your nose down dog split right leg up stepping through come back into the lunge a little bend in the back knee arms come up venus mudra and then straightening out your right leg draw the ribs back lift the navel energy moving upward and there's even and then bend the knee and straighten out the right leg there's even energy moving upward as the knee bends right can you keep that containment of the ribs the lifting up and space in the throat one more time straightening out your right leg and then let it bend bringing the hands back down to the ground step back plank pose lower knees chest and chin slide through cobra maybe taking the hands back opening the chest lengthening the throat hands under the shoulders puppy pose and again go gentle into this one right it's a lot on the shoulders a lot on the throat so if you've got shoulder stuff going on really just soften into this one and it might be that the head drops down and it feels a little bit more like a child's pose for you and then come back onto hands and knees tuck the toes under lift the hips up up downward facing dog so in your down dog have a moment you can shake out the head here and then you might settle your eye gaze towards your feet right and that gives the mind a little bit more to focus on the senses a little bit more of a job to do to keep us present and then start to walk your feet forward coming towards the front of your mat and your knees can bend here and then once you get there a little bit of bend in the knees feet are maybe one fist distance apart here and then bring the hands up onto the shins and lengthen the spine now if you need to keep the knees bent you'll do that extend the spine forward reach the chest forward the chin forward strong exhalation fold back into the legs let the head bow again like that lengthen out the spine reach through the chest gaze it can be soft down the tip of the nose and exhale folding into the legs last time like that bring the hands up onto the shins half lift through the spine take your hands to your hips roll your shoulders back press into your feet keep the head aligned neck aligned with the spine as you come up coming to the front of your mat into dasana if you're not there already hands come back to venous mudra let the eyes close and moving into that ujjayi pranayam just to stimulate the throat a little bit further and get the powers of communication operating fully let's take one breath in together one breath out and moving into some suryanamaskar variations with the emphasis on udana vayu you can reach the arms forward lift them up keeping the venous mudra maybe a little tip back there and then soften the knees and fold your way forward utanasana standing forward bend step your right foot back into a lunge and look forward down dog with your breath out inhale out into plank pose lower your knees your chest and your chin slide through into cobra and press back downward facing dog dog lift your right leg up step it in between your hands coming up into your high lunge venous mudra and then a little bit of a push off step your left foot to meet your right your knees can soften here straighten out the legs and tip back hands come back to the throat again making a little bit of a sweep with the arms lean back and then soften the knees to fold forward send your left leg back look forward down dog with your breath out inhale out plank pose lower knees chest and chin slide through cobra and press back down dog reach the left leg up step it in between your hands back knee can soften venous mudra with the arms in your high lunge bring the right foot to meet the left straighten out the legs lift up hands come back towards the throat one more round just like that reaching up and back and exhale to fold forward step your right foot back look forward down dog inhale out into plank knees chest and chin slide through into cobra and press back down dog reach the right leg up step it in between your hands soften the back knee venous mudra with the arms and your high lunge left foot meets the right straighten out the legs tip up and take your hands to your heart reaching forward up and back soften the knees and fold forward send your left leg back into a lunge down dog with your breath out slide out plank pose lower knees chest and chin swinging through into cobra and press back down dog reach the left leg up step it in between the hands soften the back knee coming up high lunge step the right foot to meet the left inhale straighten it all out lift up lean back exhale hands towards the throat a little different this time reach forward up and lean back and exhale fold your way down step your right foot back into a lunge this time right into plank you'll either do knees chest chin or chaturanga if you prefer coming up into up dog or stay with your cobra if you're doing your up dog lift the chin roll the shoulders back downward facing dog lift the right leg step it through coming up high lunge with the venous mudra pushing off step the left foot to meet the right reaching up and back with long legs hands back to the throat reaching forward up and back a little bit of a tip back lifting up to go back and then exhale folding forward send the left leg back right into your plank and either chaturanga or knees chest chin up dog or stay with cobra downward facing dog take your left leg up stepping in between the hands let the back knee soften venous mudra step the right foot to meet the left lengthen and lift and this time right into your diver's pose reach the arms back send the chin forward and lift the heels up lengthen the spine open up one line from the tailbone through the crown of the head take it right into utkatasana and in your utkatasana you might come back to that venous mudra lift the chin gaze over the hands push into the feet length in the legs see if you can follow the hands back and then fold your way forward come up onto the fingertips and look forward soft hop or step back either into chaturanga or you'll step back into your down dog taking it through a vinyasa and land in your down dog and then just have a moment there to listen for your breath and then let's set up a flow lift your right leg up stepping forward spin the back heel down warrior one and i'm finding that mudra again and taking the gaze right up past the hands opening up the throat straighten out your right leg and turn your right toes in to meet your left eagle wrap right arm underneath the left turn out the toes bend your knees one more breath practice that's really good for ujana vayu is lion's breath so take a breath in open your mouth stick out your tongue go ahead good and then reach the arms up find your venous mudra straighten out your legs parallel your toes look up right back into warrior two front of your mat and this time the gaze is out over the right middle finger and you're turning at the neck and you can deepen the bend of that right knee but still stay lifted and supported in the side waist turn the right palm up lean back for a peaceful warrior reaching back and then slip your hands down to the ground step back you'll either take it through a vinyasa here or step back and take it into down dog a part of fifth chakra is also listening i can we listen to our bodies and make this practice healing left leg up step it forward spin the back heel down warrior one venous mudra in the hands gazing past the fingers lifting the neck lifting the chest straighten out your left leg turn your left toes in to meet your right eagle wrap left arm underneath the right turn out the toes and bend the knees have your breath in open your mouth stick out your tongue go ahead reach the arms all the way up venous mudra above the head turning the toes parallel straighten out the leg look up get long and then right back into warrior two front of your mat gazing out over the left hand this time reaching through the right arm and in this pose i almost feel like the tops of my ears are lifting me up and that gives me some space along the sides of the neck turn the left palm up lean back for a peaceful warrior and bring the hands down to the ground step back vinyasa and it could be plank and chaturanga or it could be plank and knees chest chin whatever is resonating with you today let's build on that lift your right leg up step it forward spin the back heel down coming up warrior one venous mudra straightening out your right leg turn your right toes in to meet your left eagle wrap right arm underneath the left turn out the toes and bend the knees breathe in open your mouth stick out your tongue open your mouth stick out your tongue and then reach the arms up flying warrior turning the toes parallel venous mudra above the head this time warrior two back of your mat length and the stance as much as you need to get that deep bend of the left knee peaceful warrior lean back and then switch your peaceful warrior to the front of your mat right toes turn out reaching up and back and coming right into a triangle pose lengthen out the right leg and reach up and over and then same thing here i'm actually using the gaze as a way to remember to open up the throat so when the gaze goes into what's called hostility or the hand gaze here i'm having to turn the neck and turn the chin now if this feels like too much for your neck look straight out to the side or look down if that's better for you right and we want there to be an openness without strain take your left arm over your ear breathe through the sideways and then bring the hands to the ground come right into your lunge spin up the back heel open up your right arm and come into a lunge twist and then bring both hands down and step back plank pose lower your left knee down spin your right heel down you've seen this before lift up your right arm and come into that side plank variation and then you can take the right arm over your ear you might even lift the right leg up here give yourself almost like an artichandrosana on your knee reaching through the side waist and then place the right leg back down come into plank pose left knee into your nose step back regular plank right knee into your nose down dog split right leg up high step through come into a high lunge little bend in the back knee reach the arms of venus mudra above the head and straighten out your right leg and then let it bend and push off left foot meets the right with soft knees straighten out the legs lift up a little bit of a lean back and coming right into diverse pose reach the arms back send the chest forward gaze is out in front of you lifting the heels opening the throat right into utkatasana reach the arms up and then folding forward and come right into a crow pose so bringing the feet together toes turned out slightly hands down shoulder width tip the gaze forward keep the throat open as the heels come up and place the feet back down and soften into a malasana let the head drop and the feet are together knees are open and let the spine round for a moment bringing the hands back underneath the shoulders step back plank pose chaturanga upward facing and downward facing dog lift the left leg up step it forward spin the back heel down warrior one venus mudra looking up straighten out your left leg turn your left toes in to meet your right eagle wrap left arm underneath turn out the toes breathe in open your mouth stick out your tongue reach the arms all the way up venus mudra connect them hands above the head looking up warrior two back of your mat lengthening the stance there peaceful warrior reaching back and then switch your peaceful warrior around to the front coming right into triangle pose at the end of the breath out and you can take the whole long luxurious breath to get there and once you're there taking the gaze up past the hand again and i like that because it gives a little indication of the heart opener there and reminding the shoulder blades to come in towards each other and then take the right arm over your ear reaching through the right hand hands come down to the ground spin up the back heel opening up lunge twist reach the left arm up gazing past the hand bring both hands down step back plank pose lower your right knee down spin your left heel down lift up side plank variation and then lifting up through the left leg if you want you can take the left arm over your ear stretch through the side and then right into your plank right knee into your nose step back regular plank left knee into your nose down dog split left leg up up stepping through the hands come on up high lunge reach the arms up venus mudra above the head one time straightening out your left leg and let it bend and then push off step the right foot to meet the left lift up lean back let the head fall all divers pose coming forward and see if you can keep that much openness in the chest that you just had shoulder blades can come together extend the fingers back drop the heels for utkatasana venus mudra at the top if you want it there and then fold forward over your legs coming back into crow pose bakasana spread the fingers nice and wide gaze moves forward feel the weight in the fingertips before you try to lift the feet and then maybe straightening out the arms a little bit placing the feet back down malasana feet are together knees apart drop the head let the neck relax and give yourself a moment there come back to your ujjayi if you lost it and then slipping the hands back underneath the shoulders step back to plank chaturanga up dog slide the hips forward lift the chest and downward facing dog last time at the sequence a couple add-ons lift the right leg up stepping forward spin the back heel down come on up warrior one venus mudra straightening out your right leg turn the right toes in to meet the left eagle wrap right arm underneath the left turn out the toes breathing in last time make it a big one reach the arms up venus mudra above the head look up up warrior two back of your mat right into peaceful and switch your peaceful warrior around to the front this time we're taking it into extended side angle so you can take the forearm right on top of the thigh and reach the left arm over and we've been in the shape it's it reminds me of the side plank again so you can take the glance up towards the left hand and then take your left hand to your left hip walk your right hand forward you're coming into artichandrasana i like a block for this one and if you are using a block take it to the right of the right foot and far enough in front that you can stack the wrist under the shoulder and you might bend the left knee reaching back coming into the chapasana variation tipping the head back back and then extend the left leg back out you're sliding back into triangle pose it's a tricky transition bend the right knee a lot tap the left foot down and then you're right there straighten out the right leg and take the right arm over your ear same as we did before hands down to the ground spin up the back heel you're in a lunge open up the right arm and twist bring the hands back down step back to plank pose you can either drop the left knee or not coming into regular side plank and if you're dropping the left knee you can come right back into that art of variation that we did those of you staying in the side plank let's fall into a rock star let the head fall back lift the chest coming all the way back around coming all the way back around right leg up high down dog split step it right through center soften the back knee coming up high lunge straightening out the right leg and let it bend soften the knees step the left foot to meet the right lift up lean back and diverse pose stretch the arms back lift the heels would get asana hands to the ground and then coming back into crow pose one more time spread the fingers lift the heels tip the gaze forward send the feet up and then place the feet back down a breath in melasana walking the hands forward and let the head drop and then slide your hands back a little different this time we're stepping back into plank pose lower your knees your chest and your chin sliding through cobra but i'm taking my hands outside of my mat this time tenting the fingertips separate the legs a little bit push down into the pelvis and lift the chest and you don't need to lock out the arms or anything here keep the arms a little bit soft but lift the chest lift the navel lift the chin and then you might slide the chest lift the chin and then you might soften and just come back down we've got two more like that pressing into the hands lift the chest roll the shoulder blades back spin the inner arms out lift the chin and gently release down last time coming up and the head can be heavy but then tip it up and open the throat and then come back down taking the hands underneath the shoulders push back puppy pose and this time you might come into a fuller expression with flat palms and the chin down you need to stay on the fingertips and gaze more at the ground you'll do that and then just come forward onto your forearms and come into a forearm plank here and i've got my feet about hip width apart i'm reaching the chest forward dropping the tailbone down legs stay strong chin out in front of me drag the shoulder blades down get some extension in the neck look forward and then you might even come to a brahma breath here so breathe in gentle hum on the breath out one more time breathe in through the nose and gentle hum um and then release the knees down walk the hands back and come to stand up on the knees if you want to you'll tuck the toes under here otherwise interlace the fingers behind the back roll the shoulder blades in towards each other lift the chest tip the head up tip the head back and then see if maybe you can reach for your heels and then once i get there it's like i re-extend upward and the head just falls off the top of the spine open the throat squeeze in on the inner thighs coming up venus mudra above the head and have a seat on your heels your heels those heart openers those chest openers those throat openers it's so the opposite of what we do so much during our day these days and it feels amazing free up that energy let the air move come back onto your hands and your knees tuck your toes under lift your hips up downward facing dog dog last time left side reach the left leg up stepping forward spin the back heel down warrior one venus mudra above the head straightening out your left leg turn your left toes in to meet your right eagle wrap left arm underneath turn out the toes and bend the knees breathe in open the mouth stick out the tongue reach the arms up straightening out the legs toes turn parallel look up at your venus mudra and fall into your warrior two back of your mat lean back into peaceful warrior switch your peaceful warrior on to the front of your mat extended side angle at the end of that breath out keeping some space there along the side waist gaze moving up into the right hand opening up the throat right hand to your right hip grab the block if you're using it for artichandrasana hop the back foot in as much as you need to and then lifting the right leg if you took chapasana on the other side you can reach back for the right ankle here kicking through the right leg maybe tipping the head back and then extend the right leg out and that transition into triangle pose try it again bend the left knee tap the right foot down and you're right there take the right arm over your head bring your hands down to the ground coming into your lunge spin up your right heel open up up taking a lunge twist left arm high come back into your plank pose side plank either with the right knee down or not lifting up through the left arm you can take the left arm over your ear send the hips up higher step the left foot behind you rock star let the head fall back and come all the way back around down dog split left leg up step it right through the hands let the back knee soften venus mudra above the head in your high lunge one time straightening out the left leg let it bend step the right foot to meet the left lift up lean back and take it into diverse pose reach the arms back lift the heels up utkatasana slip your hands down to the ground last time crow pose shifting the weight forward heels move towards the sits bones hands coming down malasana walk the hands forward let your head fall hands back under the shoulders step back into plank lower your knees your chest and your chin slide through here's your wider cobra hands can come outside of the mat and press into the feet lift the chest look up and flow forward coming down again push into the hands and lift up big inhale and then soft exhale coming down last time press into the feet lift the chest roll the shoulder blades in and exhale to come down slip the hands underneath the shoulders push back puppy pose and flattening out the hands reach the chin forward and then walk the forearms back coming on to your forearm plank gaze is out in front of you taking it into brahmari breath if you're going there that bumblebee breath make your little buzz on your exhalation and if it makes you laugh that's great breathe in and breathe out and then drop the knees down walk your hands back come up to stand on the knees interlace the fingers with the opposite interlacing reaching back ustrasana camel pose catch your heels catch your ankles or keep your hands on your lower back if you need more support pump the chest and then come on up venus mudra and have a seat on your heels hands in front of your throat one round inhaling and soft exhale and then just come to lie down on your back make sure you've got a block close by and bend your knees step your feet to the ground lift your hips up and come into a supported bridge pose i like the block on the medium height if you like it a little higher a little lower that could be nice but now we're just opening up the back of the throat and creating a little hint of a natural jalandara bundle which is the chin lock so once we've got all that energy opened up we're containing some of it and that's that's really about the balance right like the balance between speaking and listening the balance between knowing when to speak up and when to stay quiet and the balance of using words in a way that feels in alignment with our yoga practice that we stay with truth and non-harming you're welcome to stay here if you'd like to bring your legs up and come into more of a supported shoulder stand feeling there you can do that up eyes can start to close breathful slow and then gently bring the feet back down take your time could be one foot at a time pushing into the feet lift the hips slide the block out bring the hips down and our last pose is going to be fish pose so lengthen out the legs mozzie asana here flex the feet push into the elbows pop the chest up and then let the head fall back right and i'm still using my elbows a lot here for support if you'd like to bring the arms up venus mudra lift the legs you can do that or keep the elbows down legs down and i'm using the upper spine and the pushing of the elbows to pull weight out of the neck and then strongly chin into the chest softly lowering down and then separate the legs and come right into your shavasana a very sweet shavasana and let all of that go trust the practice so so so and then gently start to bring some awareness back into your breath give a little wiggle through the fingers and the toes you might gently turn the head a little bit from side to side notice the looseness in the neck and then walk your feet in stop them to the ground rolling onto your right side you can make a little pillow for your head let your head rest in your right arm and then pushing into the hands come on back up to sit have a seat on your heels or on your block bring your hands back into venus mudra uh let's close with one oh i'm breathing in um namaste

Comments

Jenny S
4 people like this.
Oh yeah! Just what I needed...had a nice glow (sweat lol) going through this one. Now I’m feeling very alive and ready to step out into the world 🙌
Jennifer E
3 people like this.
A new Ali class! Yeah! Loved it! Thank you!!!
Christina F
Thank  you for classes from Ali Cramer. She is the best. Please consider offering her talks before she starts the practice, they are like mini secular sermons, that she offers at Laughing Lotus. They merge spirit, mind and body beautifully. And they are real (spiritual) talk for the real world. She is SO good.
Kate M
2 people like this.
Energizing!!!
Tina Anderson
I really like your Ayurveda classes Ali. THank you. You inspire me to find out more about Ayurveda. Where do you teach face to face? One day Id like to come from New Zealand to your class 
Ali Cramer
Tina Anderson Thank you so much! I teach at Laughing Lotus and Woom Center in NYC but I travel a lot! Check out alicramer.com for details. Namaste! 
Ali Cramer
1 person likes this.
Kate so glad! Namaste! 
Ali Cramer
Jennifer thank you for the support! 
Ali Cramer
Jenny shine ON! Namaste! 
Sonja G
1 person likes this.
Loooove that class and I have so much more space in my chest and throat area now! Thanks, Ali! You inspire me so much  
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